One major Christian group reported that the average church membership role is 176 people and that the average Sunday attendance is 69. If this is typical of conservative Christians, it is an indication that most feel that attendance or commitment to a local congregation is optional or at least not a priority. This attendance pattern suggests that most do not believe that regular participation in a church is important.
Is committing to being an active member of a church important? Is it enough that when you obey the gospel. the Lord adds you to the church (Acts 2:47)? Are you a part of the church if you never participate? Does on have to attend? Does one have to take part?
Mark Dever in his book, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church* lists “A Biblical Understanding of Church Membership as mark number six. On page 161 he lists the following as some the duties of Christians*
- Care for one another physically and spiritually (Gal 2:10; Gal 6:1-2, Gal 6:10)
- Watch over one another and hold each other accountable (Rom 15:14)
- Edify one another (1Th 5:11)
- Bear with one another (Col 3:12-13)
- Pray for each other (Jam 5:16)
- Contend together for the gospel (Jude 3)
- Be example to one another (Phi 2:1-18)
Some of these can ONLY be done cooperatively, that is by being a part of a local church and regularly assembling and participating together. By regularly, I mean each first day of the week. Remember that you are as a child of God, part of a family. Yes, and extended family that is the kingdom of God, but also an immediate family that is the local church. Each week your family gathers together to be in the presence of your God and Savior. As a congregation, we gather together with our brother (Christ) and participate in a family memorial meal (Act 20:7; 1Co 11:17-29)
Sunday is coming. Will you be with the Church?
* Dever, Mark, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, (Crossway:Wheaton, Ill.) 2013
** Ibid. p 161